By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service
Sept. 6, 2007 - President Bush is urging Americans to light candles and ring bells to honor terrorism victims and servicemembers during "National Days of Prayer and Remembrance" tomorrow through Sept. 9. Bush carved out the symbolic calendar days to encourage Americans to remember the 2,974 people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and to reaffirm the global terror war's foundation, according to a proclamation the White House released yesterday.
"During this year's National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, we honor the thousands of victims who died in the brutal and ruthless attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon," Bush said in the proclamation. "I ask that the people of the United States and their places of worship mark these (days) with memorial services, the ringing of bells, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils."
He also invited people around the world to participate in the days of prayer and remembrance.
Bush added that the nation remembers with gratitude the firefighters, police officers and citizens who acted with courage and compassion after four hijacked commercial airplanes crashed at three sites on U.S. soil, and he issued a stern warning to those who perpetrate or condone such attacks.
"Never forgetting that terrible day, we remain determined to bring our enemies to justice, defy the terrorists' ideology of hate, and work to make our world safer," he said.
The president paid homage to some 4,177 servicemembers killed during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and thanked members currently serving in the U.S. military.
"We are grateful for those who continue to protect our nation and our way of life. Their courage, sacrifice, and dedication help preserve our freedom," Bush said in the proclamation. "We pray for their safety, for all those who love them, and for the peace we all seek."
He said the nation remains hopeful, due to kind and compassionate Americans' commitment to freedom and opportunity.
"During these days of prayer and remembrance, we reflect on all we have lost and take comfort in each other and in the grace and mercy of our Creator," the president said. "May God guide us, give us strength and wisdom, and may He continue to bless our great country."